Swedish giant Magnus Bäckstedt is leading the Liquigas-Bianchi squad in the 57th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, which began with a 7.9 km prologue time trial in Aix-les-Bains on Sunday. Bäckstedt finished 50th in the stage, losing 29 seconds to winner George Hincapie.
"The Dauphiné Libéré is an important race for me as I'm approaching the Tour de France," he said. "I aim at improving my condition without losing sight of the eventual goal of a stage victory."
Joining Bäckstedt in France are Enrico Gasparotto, Mauro Gerosa, Nicola Loda, Marcus Ljungqvist, Oscar Mason, Devis Miorin and Gianluca Sironi. Roberto Damiani and Dario Mariuzzo will serve as team directors.